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Helicopter Parents


By Fred Wallace

 I was bothered, and am still bothered by an incident that took place last Fall in Meaford.


The episode occurred at the Ontario Cross Country Championships at the Georgian Bay Community School Athletic Field, but I'm quite certain, and sad, that similar scenes are played out at youth sporting events regardless of the sport in question.


I knew I was in for a difficult day as the PA announcer when I saw the number of parents on the course for the " walk through ".


At first, I thought that was neat, a shared experience, but then I questioned what the parents would doing the " walk through " for when they weren't going to participate in the races.


It didn't get any better as I had to advise over and over and over, 15 times by my count, that parents, other than coaches, were not to be inside of the snow fence barrier or anywhere near the race course.


But the most bothersome sequence took place very late in the day.


As I've said many times, I'm a professional, and if you put something on a piece of paper....I'll read it.


Well someway, somehow, the results I received were incorrect and one coach was quick to inform me so.


In fairness, this guy, with no attitude or tone, just said, " that's not accurate, Fred. "


However, at the medal & ribbon table, another coach, parent or " adult " apparently vented with rage and abusive language that offended the volunteer to the point that the volunteer promptly quit on the spot.


I understand fully the significance of a provincial championship and the pride of accomplishment no matter what sport we're talking about.


But what are we talking about here ? A ribbon ? A medal that carries the financial equivalent & status of the Canadian penny.


Is it, was it, worth getting that worked up over ?

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